In his study of anxiety and masculinity in early modern England, Mark Breitenberg begins with the premise that "the phrase 'anxious masculinity' is redundant. "1 He believes that "masculine subjectivity constructed and sustained by a patriarchal culture-infused with patriarchal assumptions about power, privilege, sexual desire, the body-inevitably engenders varying degrees of anxiety in its male members."2 Thus, despite the prevalence of a patriarchal order in early modern England and the very real power men wielded, they nevertheless worried about sustaining their dominant position and maintaining social order. For Breitenberg, however, this anxiety is more than just an effect of patriarchy, of being the empowered gender, and it does more than simply lead to "patriarchy's own internal discord. "3 It is also "an instrument (once properly contained, appropriated or returned) of [patriarchy's] perpetuation. "4 The task Breiten berg sets for himself is to investigate the cultural work anxiety accomplishes-he wants to expose not just how patriarchy breeds anxiety, but how the empowered use anxiety for the retention of power.